Correction layers are a great way to balance colors and contrast in your image without painting everything by hand.
I created a very in depth video on how to use correction layers. It is long, but I go over everything that you would need to know about it.
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HOW TO ADD CORRECTION LAYERS
Very sneaky shortcut that is not something that people talk about is Alt options.
If you hit ALT, then the top panel will highlight letters.
You can see underlined letters. Chose each letter to choose any function :)
In this case this will be: ALT, L, J, any letter for your shortcut as you can see highlighted
Here is the original painting that I am going to be editing for this tutorial. It has enough contrast and color variation to really see what is happening.
I also added a black to white gradient, cool to warm gradient, and core colors to see how it will be affected.
BRIGHTNESS / CONTRAST
Pretty easy to understand and quick to master. Brightness darkens or lightens the overall picture. Contrast creates more dramatic transition between light and dark. Here are examples of how it changed the painting.
It is a quick and rough tool to create contrast in your image. It is not recommended to be used on painting that do not have good color already.
This tool is not as precise as the Curves or Levels.
HUE / SATURATION / LUMINOCITY
Most used tool used by most artists.
Hue changed color based on the color wheel. If you go left you turn everything more blue. If you turn right then it will turn yellow.
Saturation will make the color more contrasted or less juicy. Once saturation hits zero, it will turn black and white.
Luminosity is easy. It will add black or add white. Left is darker and the right is lighter.
Quick color correction for warm and cold image. You can add blue, increase saturation, and add black.
Darks are usually saturated.
To go the opposite direction. Reduce saturation, add white, bring yellow. It will give an image more vintage and summer look.
Posterization is used to break up the colors. It will try to simplify them if you pick lower numbers. It will also try to add more if you go with higher numbers.
It is nice to add some texture and break out airbrush strokes.
Do not forget to use Layer modes! This will work amazing on lighten, overlay, darken or soft light.
REVERSE GRADIENT / INVERSE
Easy to explain and usually is not too popular. It will reverse all the darks with brights. It will switch the colors with the opposite colors on color wheel.
Amazing tool and usually will scare away the beginners!
So how do you read this weird graph?
Easy to remember sliders:
Left is White
Middle is Gray
Right is Black
My image is made up of RGB (Red, Green, and Blue channels).
You can see that I do not have enough White in my image. All of my whites are Red. All of my darks are green and blue.
Once all channels come together you see black. That is the main channel.
You can see that I pushed each channel except the main one.
I lacked white in Red
I lacked black in Green
I lacked White in Blue
Once I finished you see that my image became more natural and less painterly.
Here I adjusted only the main channel. I did not touch the other channels.
Using only blue.
Using only green channel.
Using only Red channel.
Tone curves are basically the same as levels, but it has a different interface. It is better for colors than value corrections.
You have a straight curve that will be the same as before. Left is white. Right is Black.
You can lift the darks and push down the whites. It will create less contrast and also not mess around with your mid tones.
This is called "S" curve. It creates contrast and make your image pop more.
You can pull the middle point in order to pull mid tones on the entire image without destroying the colors.
You can also do the exact opposite.
You can also pull or push the blacks and whites themselves. It will create an unnatural picture.
You can do the same for Red Blue and Green channels just like in the Levels panel.
The most important tool you can use. It adjusts color in your image by dragging colors where you want them to be.
You can adjust Shadows, Half Tone (Mid Tones), or Highlights
Here is how to looks
Right Top image replicates the actual sliders on the color balance.
Keep Brightness checker will be increase or decrease the effect of the filter. If you want to have less of it then unbox it.
Keep in mind. Darks are usually Blue / Cyan. Brights are usually Yellow / Red.
The most amazing tool there is! It look at the image as black and white and it turned it into the gradient you assigned!
It is a nice way to color a black and white image or unify the color palette. You can watch my youtube video for more in depth showcase.
Here is a quick gradient at 50% opacity that helped bring the picture together.
I skipped one filter in the tutorial, but you can see review in the youtube video :)
I will try to add the Clip Studio Paint in the future that you can download and see what the image look like. I will probably post it on my youtube in a couple of days.
I will also make a cheat sheet of all the effect on my devianart and put the link under youtube as well.
You can find me on social media under the name of Tamil Volk. Please let me know if you have any questions.